Can carnivores change their diet?

Creationism, Evolution, and other science issues

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Nickman
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Can carnivores change their diet?

Post #1

Post by Nickman »

Here is a snippet from another thread;
nothead wrote:
Making fun of the idea that carnivores will stop eating other animals.
It could happen, right? Why not?
I posted that it could not happen because of their digestive system.

Can carnivores change their diet?

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Re: Can carnivores change their diet?

Post #11

Post by Skybringr »

[Replying to post 1 by Nickman]

It's possible, given enough time and certain factors.
But evolution tends to work with what is already granted.

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Re: Can carnivores change their diet?

Post #12

Post by Kenisaw »

Nickman wrote: Sun Jun 01, 2014 5:58 pm Here is a snippet from another thread;
nothead wrote:
Making fun of the idea that carnivores will stop eating other animals.
It could happen, right? Why not?
I posted that it could not happen because of their digestive system.

Can carnivores change their diet?
Everyone should look up vegan cats as an example of what happens to an animal that evolved to eat a carnivore is put on an all plant diet. It ain't natural and it doesn't work.

Plenty of animals occasionally eat things that are not in their standard diet. Deer for example will eat bird chicks that fall out of nests. Plenty of video and photo evidence of that. But that doesn't mean they can eat nothing but meat all the time.

Even humans, being omnivores, are a good example. People that eat just meat don't get enough Vitamin C. The lack of fiber upsets your gut biome which causes a range of health issues. Vegans on the other hand don't get certain B vitamins and amino acids that they need for proper health. We evolved to eat plants and meat, and when we don't it affects our health.

So no, Nick, a single animal in it's lifetime cannot just switch diets completely and be healthy. A group of animals over time can evolve to handle different food sources, but that is different from the question you were asking.

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Re: Can carnivores change their diet?

Post #13

Post by Miles »

.

Just to follow up with the facts about carnivores from National Geographic

"A carnivore is an organism that mostly eats meat, or the flesh of animals.

Carnivores are a major part of the food web, a description of which organisms eat which other organisms in the wild. Organisms in the food web are grouped into trophic, or nutritional, levels. There are three trophic levels. Autotrophs, organisms that produce their own food, are the first trophic level. These include plants and algae. Herbivores, organisms that eat plants and other autotrophs, are the second trophic level. Carnivores are the third trophic level. Omnivores, creatures that consume a wide variety of organisms from plants to animals to fungi, are also the third trophic level.

Some carnivores, called obligate carnivores, depend only on meat for survival. Their bodies cannot digest plants properly. Plants do not provide enough nutrients for obligate carnivores. All cats, from small house cats to huge tigers, are obligate carnivores. [Evidently, feeding Mr. Jeepers something other than meat isn't doing him any favor.]

Most carnivores are not obligate carnivores. A hypercarnivore is an organism that depends on animals for at least 70 percent of its diet. Plants, fungi, and other nutrients make up the rest of their food. All obligate carnivores, including cats, are hypercarnivores. Sea stars, which prey mostly on clams and oysters, are also hypercarnivores.

Mesocarnivores depend on animal meat for at least 50 percent of their diet. Foxes are mesocarnivores. They also eat fruits, vegetables, and fungi.

Hypocarnivores depend on animal meat for less than 30 percent of their diet. Most species of bears are hypocarnivores. They eat meat, fish, berries, nuts, and even the roots and bulbs of plants. Hypocarnivores such as bears are also considered omnivores.
source

So, "Can carnivores change their diet?" It all depends on the species.

.

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Re: Can carnivores change their diet?

Post #14

Post by nobspeople »

Nickman wrote: Sun Jun 01, 2014 5:58 pm Here is a snippet from another thread;
nothead wrote:
Making fun of the idea that carnivores will stop eating other animals.
It could happen, right? Why not?
I posted that it could not happen because of their digestive system.

Can carnivores change their diet?
I would think if a carnivore evolves in such a way they change their diets to the majority of plants, they cease being carnivores. :?
That said, some animals said to be herbivores do eat meat/meat products on occasion at times. Nature is fun and quite interesting.
Have a great, potentially godless, day!

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Re: Can carnivores change their diet?

Post #15

Post by Purple Knight »

Of course they can but it would take thousands of generations of generations of selection in that direction.

Pandas did it. They're not so well off, however.

The idea that it can be done at an individual level, for an obligate carnivore, and the individual will still be perfectly healthy, is what people generally make fun of.

If it's evil to eat meat (and evil to make these meat eaters suffer on suboptimal diets) then you want eugenics to turn whatever species it is into herbivores.

Even herbivores, though, will eat meat if they can get it. They'll actively seek it out if their diet is deficient in something.



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Re: Can carnivores change their diet?

Post #16

Post by The Barbarian »

Canids and bears are facultative carnivores. That is, they don't have to eat meat. Bears and Wolves eat a lot of vegetable matter, although they certainly prefer meat. The relatively short digestive system makes plant material less nutritious for them, but it still works. Pandas eat mostly bamboo, but they retain the ursid short digestive tract. Cats are an exception; they need meat-based food in their diets.

I am told that cats can't get energy from carbohydrates as bears and canids can, and they must have taurine in their diet, which can only be obtained from meat. Unlike most other animals, they can't produce their own taurine.

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